FUTURE THUNDER: Borrell Discusses Staten Island Pitchers

As a member of the Trenton Thunder, Danny Borrell (left) appeared in 25 games, posting a 4-6 record between the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Now a pitching coach with the Yankees short season A-Ball affiliate in Staten Island, Borrell was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to discuss a few pitchers who might eventually make it to his old stomping grounds of Waterfront Park.

ON EVAN DELUCA

“The numbers are good, but for me the biggest difference for him this year is the ability to throw all his pitches for strikes.  Last year, he was younger and he just had trouble repeating his delivery, so being able to throw strikes with his fastball was hit or miss.  This year, that’s been the difference and that’s why his numbers are much better; being able to throw his fastball for strikes and now he’s able to throw his curveball and his changeup for strikes as well.”

“I think more than anything else, you know how hard you used to throw.  And whenever somebody goes through an injury, and unfortunately I know a lot about that, you have to learn how to trust your arm again.  For not throwing as hard as he has in the past, I think he’s doing very well.”

ON BRYAN MITCHELL

“Those numbers, they have no indication of the way he’s throwing.  He’s pitching very well.  The biggest difference for him is being able to repeat his delivery.  Obviously, across the board, he has unbelievable stuff.  The kid’s going to be very successful.  The numbers aren’t showing it, but he’s had three starts in a row where it has been very good.  Hopefully, sooner or later, we’ll be able to get some good numbers to show what he’s actually been pitching like.”

“For him, it sounds general, but we’ve been working on just repeating his release point.  I think the biggest thing for these kids is their delivery changes pretty much every pitch.  Now, we’re just trying to straighten out his stride a little bit and try to get him to use his legs a little bit more, which is amazing because he’s hitting mid 90’s and pretty much throwing all (with his) arm.” 

“He reminds me, not in our organization, but of Josh Johnson with the Florida Marlins.  Power stuff.  Obviously, if he’s anywhere near Josh Johnson, the Yankees are going to have something pretty special.”

“It’s so hard to tell (how close he is).  You could put a year on it, say he’s two years or three years away, but for me, he’ll let us know when he’s ready.  We’re going to take care of him.  Those questions are answered by someone higher than me.”

ON BRANDEN PINDER

“Branden Pinder is a guy that, he has four pitches, but he only throws two.  He’s pretty much a fastball and slider guy right now.  But he’s mid-90’s with an 85-87 MPH slider, and that’s a tough combination when you’re trying to face him as a hitter.  Great kid, works hard.  Big kid, big body.  He has a chance to move pretty quick.”

“He has a curveball, and he’s thrown it a few times in a game.  And he has a changeup.  He was a later round guy, but obviously here in the early going, he’s been really strong.”

ON PHIL WETHERELL

“Phil has a wipeout split-finger.  He’s a low to mid 90’s guy, and his split has been what’s separated him.  His last outing, the split was unbelievable.  You hear the hitters talking about how there’s just no shot that they can hit it.  Our scouts have done a great job, obviously, bringing in these guys and that’s another kid who’s got a good arm.”

“I would see that (him being a back end of the bullpen guy long-term).  That’s the role he’s in right now, but we’ll see what happens as he goes up the ladder.”

ON CALEB COTHAM

“Caleb is rehabbing from his surgery, and he’s doing a great job.  For him to be where he’s at this soon out of surgery is remarkable.  He’s doing a great job, and for him it’s just going out and pitching.  We’re not really working on anything with him, just making sure he’s feeling good and his arm’s feeling good.”

“I saw him for a couple outings when he was healthy, and he looks the same.  His arm is free and easy, which is always key coming back from surgery.  His slider is as good as it was.  So in terms of then and now, he looks very comparable.”

ON MATT TRACY

“He’s another guy that the scouts did a great job on.  Big lefty, throws hard.  He has a real good changeup, good curveball.  It’s just a matter of him getting some innings.  He was a position player in college, so we’ll see what he does with some innings under his belt.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

One Response to “FUTURE THUNDER: Borrell Discusses Staten Island Pitchers”

  1. viridiana Says:

    Wonderful feature. Thanks very much for this kind of content. Really great to get some professional perspective on these kids. Count me in as a Future Thunder fan.

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